about

I was born in Los Angeles, raised as a baker’s daughter who grew up eating ground beef drowned in Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup, boiled squash topped with mayonnaise, Vienna Sausages marinated in soy sauce, six-layer Dobash cakes, fresh raised doughnuts, and egg bread.  I do love everything about food – eating it, cooking it, smelling it, feeling it,  shopping for it, writing about it,  even sometimes successfully growing it.  Currently, I live by the beach in a little cottage in San Francisco where I try to do all of the above.  The written words on g-fork are my adventures in food.

16 Comments on “about”

  1. DKHTN April 6, 2012 at 13:26 #

    I grew up in L.A. and the best sweets came from Grace’s.
    The item I loved most were the butter cookies. Tender, not too sweet, with a drop of raspberry jam or chocolate frosting in the center or with a candied cherry in the center or sprinkled with multi-colored nonpareils or dipped in chocolate. I have never found a bakery that made them as tender and delicious. The ones now days are either rock hard (you could drop them from a second story window and they wouldn’t break) or too sweet.
    Do you have the recipe for them (or one that you’d recommend as a close approximation)?
    Thanks so much!

    • gfork April 7, 2012 at 19:38 #

      thanks for the kind note! I will pass it on to my dad. the next time I’m in LA, I’ll look through his recipe books to see if he still has the one for the butter cookies. unfortunately, most of his recipes are for mass amounts (24 lbs of eggs, 40 lbs of butter, etc.). I’ll let you know!

  2. DKHTN April 8, 2012 at 18:51 #

    Thanks so much for checking. I’d even go for (as my sister says) a magoomba sized recipe. (I’d love the recipe for the raspberry jam and the chocolate frosting centers too, if your father made those rather than purchasing them.) Thanks again!

  3. Nefre August 28, 2013 at 6:46 #

    I grew up in Monterey Park and a family favorite and birthday tradition was the Temptation Cake from Grace’s. I have never found another cake like it and to this day still dream about it. I’m tempted to try and duplicate it, no pun intended. Any chance you remember this cake? It had two layers -one chocolate, one vanilla with a chocolate buttercream in the center with sliced bananas and strawberries. If I remember correctly it had a whipped cream topping and maraschino cherries as a garnish. I was probably 10 yrs old when the bakery closed and 30 years later I still crave it. =)

    • gfork October 15, 2013 at 20:07 #

      I do remember the Temptation Cake! I believe it had a whipped cream icing and pink shavings on the outside. On my next visit to my parents, I’ll look for his recipe. Thanks for the kind note!

  4. Amy September 17, 2013 at 21:32 #

    Ganelle – Am looking for a dessert recipe for a neighborhood party and recall the chocolate cake from Grace’s Pastries: light whipped cream with sliced bananas inside. Cake so light and flavorful, bananas fresh and the combination just wonderful. Is there any possibility you might have a home recipe available? Or a recipe book? Was happy to come upon your blog…thanks for your time and efforts.

    • gfork October 15, 2013 at 20:09 #

      Thanks for the kind note! A recipe book is one of the things I would love to put together. Unfortunately, my father’s recipes are for mass quantities – it took a while to break down his tea cake recipe to a more manageable number. I’ll see what I can find on my next visit to my dad.

  5. Amy O. October 15, 2013 at 20:15 #

    Thanks for your efforts on the chocolate banana cake. It is surprisingly tied into so many of my childhood memories and I’m glad for the chance to let you and your family know how much I looked forward to it on family occasions. I’d LOVE the chance to pass the memories of it on to my own 9-year old. Best to you all!

  6. steve October 17, 2013 at 2:58 #

    It is 3:30am and I am awake. I just had a dream of Gracie’s pastries and did a quick google search and came upon this site. I grew up 2 doors down from Grace’s Pastries where my dad sold Chashu (Chinese BBQ pork) back in the days. We were business neighbors on Jefferson blvd. I remember as a kid going over to get treats from the bakery. Ahhh, the memories.

    • gfork October 17, 2013 at 6:20 #

      thanks for the note! and I dream of chashu 🙂 was your dad’s store the one with the shaved ice machine?

      • steve October 18, 2013 at 18:45 #

        chinaland deli food to go. It was 2 doors down from the jefferson location. In between used to a hair salon and on the other side was tom’s meat market

  7. venice June 19, 2015 at 2:17 #

    what is the recipe for the pink loaf bread we use to buy this for baby showers and blue to

    • gfork March 24, 2016 at 18:55 #

      Thanks for stopping by, but unfortunately I don’t have the recipe for those particular breads. They were very novel for that time, weren’t they?!

  8. Hollie Paul September 11, 2015 at 18:14 #

    Hi there, I fondly remember the six layer dobash cakes but we went to the one on Sawtelle. Is this the same Graces? Thanks, hollie

    • gfork March 24, 2016 at 18:54 #

      Hi Hollie – yes, my father owned the chain. At the height of Grace Pastries, I believe there were 14 stores operating. I managed the Sawtelle location for a bit in the early to mid 80s. I miss the dobash cakes, too!

  9. Collin Imai October 10, 2015 at 13:29 #

    Hi Genelle! I found your site while searching the internet for information about Grace Pastries. I never forgot and to this day miss my childhood treat of taking a trip to my favorite bake shop in Gardena where I was raised. I remember my delight as a child, when opening the door, inhaling fragrances that seemed to awaken my senses and brought upon a giant smile on a little boy’s face. This unforgettable aroma had never be replaced until it crossed my senses again about 15 years ago as I entered a German bakery located in Long Beach. It brought back so many memories that I immediately had to ask them to custom make my most favorite cake at cost of $85! After all, if successful, this would bring to my palate something that had been longed for for years. My descriptions had to be translated into German for the owners of that time. When I went to pick up my cake, unfortunately, I had to settle for a 4 layer alternating flavored cake with giant white chocolate curls. Obviously something was lost in the translation. It did come close in taste, however it failed to have a crunchy texture i so dearly missed. Of course you know where the crunchiness came from. My question, which I am delighted and thought I would never be able to ask is, how or what tool was used to make them. I have since that time taken a cake decorating class and have learned many helpful tips to perfect and cost effectively duplicate my childhood “Dream” cake. I have gone to leather tooling shops and searched to see if I could duplicate to no avail. I realize that it was a signature topping and would understand if it continued to be a mystery. But just in case, you can email me any tips that might help put the topping on my cake, a little pun there. In closing, a couple years ago while working in Culver City, I decided to go to on a lunch excursion to Kinokuni Bakery on Jefferson. As I walk toward the building, I happened to look up and saw a Grace Pastries sign still atop the building. As I gazed at that sign, it brought back so many memories which once again put a giant smile on a now older little boy’s face. Thank you to your family for giant smiles of many at celebrations which included the partaking of Grace Pastries.

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